Together Project Launches to Advocate for INGOs in High-Risk Areas
The Together Project protects the ability of all international development and relief organizations to access financial services and respond to changes in the regulatory environment as they provide services in diverse locations, including conflict and high-risk areas.
Established in January 2017, the project represents a hub of advocacy and solidarity for U.S.-based NGOs that provide vital development and humanitarian relief around the world and confront discrimination or targeted prejudicial regulations in the U.S. due to their operating principles or religious faith. It enables members to share information and develop strategies in response to shrinking civil society space experienced by these NGOs.
Through the Together Project, InterAction actively represents its members, particularly organizations that are most vulnerable to any direct attacks, or indirect impacts of laws, regulations, or policies that have a chilling effect on their ability to function.
The Together Project represents members most vulnerable to indirect impacts of laws or policies that have a chilling effect on their ability to function.
During CEO Sam Worthington’s testimony (PDF) before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Worthington discussed the impact of bank de-risking on humanitarian organizations. He explained that “We operate in the neediest parts of the world and unfortunately, those are the countries that are most often associated with ‘risk’ regarding anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terror … making it more difficult for NGOs to put the philanthropy of the American public to its intended purpose in deeply poor communities abroad.”
On October 4, 2017, the Together Project launched its working group, which seeks to address this and other common issues facing U.S. based NGOs operationally. The launch introduced the working group’s workstreams focusing on their key issues: de-risking, material support, safety and security, positive public image, and interfaith connections. Since its start, the working group has hosted briefings, workshops and events bringing attention to these issues, educating relevant policymakers and officials, and convening and facilitating conversations to explore and identify solutions.